The North Water
24th February 2017
The North Water - Ian McGuire
This book is told from the perspectives of two different men on a 19th century whaling boat bound for the Arctic. One, a man traumatized and trying to start a new after serving for the British Military in India, the other, a drunk and brutal criminal of the worst kind. Pushing the whaling ship further than it should and could go, the crew find themselves in many dangerous, sometimes life threatening situations, as well as in the midst of investigations into crimes aboard the ship.
This is quite an original and thrilling tale, told in a dark yet witty way. The characters are incredibly well written and the plot is enthralling. It left me wondering what could possibly happen next, and if one of the most disgusting characters I’ve read would ever finally get what was coming to him. A caution to those who are looking for a light read, this is not it. It not only is half told from the perspective and thoughts of a genuinely terrible human being, but also has instances of crimes that could be a bit too R-rated for the faint hearted. Having said that, this Man Booker Prize nominated novel, as well as top 10 book of the year by the New York Times, is an incredibly impressive work and one that is definitely worth reading and should not be missed! Would highly recommend to any fans of Cormac McCarthy and Joseph Conrad.